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Moscow major counterfeit transit junction - City Hall official

MOSCOW, July 3 (RIA Novosti) - Up to one fourth of counterfeit goods in Russia passes through the capital, a Moscow government official said Monday.

Vyacheslav Ivanov, a deputy head of the Moscow government's economic security department, told a conference that Russia was the world's second largest exporter of counterfeits after China and lost about $3 million a year from the production and sales of fake goods.

"Moscow accounts for 25% of counterfeit transit in Russia," he said. "These are mostly household cleaning products, furniture, toys, as well as meat and dairy products and vegetable oil."

He said 85-90% of the footwear sold in Russia was fake and a fifth of medicines was substandard.

Ivanov said the sprawling counterfeit market was due to a web of sales in circumvention of stores, customers preferring fake goods at lower prices to genuine products and ineffective intellectual property laws.

"The large number of inadequate court rulings in intellectual property cases, sellers' ignorance of such laws and abundant middlemen who can take on counterfeit goods also make the situation no better," Ivanov said.

Boris Simonov, head of the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trade Marks, called for laws on intellectual property to be changed and offenses in the field to be made serious crimes because manufacturers of fake goods represented organized crime.

He said underground producers found legal loopholes easily but the problem could and had to be tackled.

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